Education Cannot Wait (ECW), has announced a new FCFA 16 Billion ($25 million) catalytic seed funding to roll out a first-ever Multi-Year Resilience Programme in Cameroon. According to a release from the organization, the new allocation brings ECW’s total investments in Cameroon to over FCFA 19 billion ($30 million) to date to reach crisis-affected girls and boys with quality education.

The FCFA 16 Billion investment delivered in partnership with the Government of Cameroon, UN agencies and civil society seeks to mobilize an additional US$50 million in funding to reach 227,000 crisis-affected girls and boys, refugee, returnee and host community children and adolescents within the North-West, South-West, Far North, East and Adamawa regions. 60 percent of beneficiaries are girls, and 10 percent are youngsters with disabilities, in line with ECW’s other multi-year investments.

The investment programme that will run for three years will be delivered by a consortium of grantees, including the Norwegian Refugee Council, Plan International, UNESCO, UNICEF, UNHCR and the World Food Programme in alignment with the Government of Cameroon’s plans for education in the crisis-affected parts of the country.

According to the most current study, more than 1.9 million school-aged children in the country require immediate humanitarian aid. In the North and South-West regions alone, more than 1.2 million people require immediate aid, and in the Far North, close to 400,000 people require assistance in the field of education.

According to Yasmine Sherif SAID, Director of ECW, children and adolescents in Cameroon need this multi-year investment in their education more than ever as it provides a holistic quality education, including psychosocial services and school meals.

“It is well-coordinated and implemented jointly between UN agencies and civil society under the leadership of the Ministry of Education. This is precisely the kind of investment the world needs to focus on to make a difference where it is the most needed. We call on donors, the private sector and other strategic partners to urgently mobilize additional resources to realize the dreams of quality education for the children and adolescents in Cameroon. Together, we can advance progress towards SDG4: ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all. This is the bedrock to achieving all other Sustainable Development Goals”, she said.

Cameroon’s Minister of Education, Professor Laurent Serge Etoundi Ngoa noted that at a time when reflections on the transformation of education are underway, the Multi-Year Resilience Programme funded by ECW, will make it possible to strengthen the resilience of their education system and increase opportunities for all girls and boys affected by the various crises raging in Cameroon to access a quality inclusive education in a healthy, safe and protective environment.

With an emphasis on investments in gender equality, disability inclusion, and mental health and psychosocial support, the multi-year programme will increase the capacity of the national education system to plan, monitor, coordinate, finance and deliver quality educational responses in crisis-affected areas.

ECW, the United Nations global fund for education in emergencies and protracted crises, supports quality education outcomes for refugee, internally displaced and other crisis-affected girls and boys, so no one is left behind. The organization also works through the multilateral system to both increase the speed of responses in crises and connect immediate relief and longer-term interventions through multi-year programming.

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